Dynamics and distribution of endosomes and lysosomes in dendrites

All cells are filled with membrane-bound organelles which are responsible for the synthesis and transport as well as degradation of membrane proteins. The localization of these organelles inside cells is highly regulated. The regulation of organelle positioning has been widely studied in many cell types. In neurons, organelle positioning and its regulation is of particular interest because of the enormous size of neurons and the high spatial heterogeneity of different functional domains, such as axons, proximal and distal portions of dendrites, and synapses. We will discuss new discoveries with regard to the dynamic positioning of endosomes and lysosomes between soma and along dendrites. Just as the “how” of dynamic endosome/lysosome positioning is still being investigated, the “why” is also being explored. An exciting possibility is that synaptic activity influences organelle behaviors. We will discuss what is currently known about the how and the why of endosome/lysosome dynamics in dendrites.